Vas Narasimhan has been in office for one year: a 42-year-old American is rapidly rebuilding the group. Meeting in Basel.
On February 1, 2018, Vas Narasimhan was able to move to his head office at a pharmaceutical company in Basel. So: He turned out to be the noble only office with prestige. Instead, he decided to continue working with others in an open-plan office.
With that, Narasimhan made it clear on his first day of work that it was a boss: Novartis had to change a lot. In his view, this also happens. The only 42-year-old corporate leader says that corporate culture has improved significantly: employees are "business", regardless of the road. He calls the new corporate culture "without bossed" – without the "boss".
Focus on high-tech drugs
Corporate culture is one thing. The company structures the other. The American Indian roots are moving fast for business restructuring. He estimates that last year Novartis had bought or sold $ 50 billion.
"All that Novartis needs to focus on the high-tech drug business," says Narasimhan. For example, he has bought a company worth almost $ 9 billion to develop gene therapy, personalized treatment for serious illnesses. Such immunotherapy is promising and may soon revolutionize the treatment of cancer and other diseases.
In turn, Narasimhan has sold the company with simple, over-the-counter drugs. And Alcon, the daughter of ophthalmic manufacturers, will soon be separated as an independent company.
The great goal of the pharmaceutical director: Novartis becomes more profitable. He also moves all departments to other countries and cuts jobs – more than 2,000 in Switzerland. It shakes the workforce.
Significantly less pay than its predecessors
These are the big plans implemented by the dynamic manager. At the same time, he allows himself to go: he usually leaves a tie in the closet, including the classic dark costume. Even if he – as in today's business performance presentation – concentrates on the media.
We have many plans. Now we have to provide results every year.
Narasimhan earns significantly less than its predecessors. He seems relaxed, understandable, and yet to be determined. He says, "We have a lot of plans. Now we have to provide results every year."
Pull out your sleeves
But research on high-tech drugs is at risk. And in the most important market – the US – hot debates on high drug prices have also flared up. Immediate prices for Novartis can be published, which has fallen last year.
And, according to Narasimhan, they will probably continue to fall in the current year. His strategy: "Put on sleeves in 2019 and realize what we started in 2018." He says – he is well aware that shareholders will appreciate him not with his promises, but with the results.